Investing in Technology a High Priority for BCS
This year, Bradshaw Christian School (BCS) has invested more than $200,000 in information technology (I.T.) services and equipment. Entering the COVID pandemic in January of 2020 with the resulting shut-down of in person learning in March, it became vital that BCS invest in a Learning Management System, upgrade the internet bandwidth and student WiFi, provide student access to Microsoft Office 365 tools and create live streaming capabilities. These improvements were implemented to address the changing needs of our faculty, staff, students and families during distance learning and other COVID related circumstances.
After COVID became a reality for our community, Bradshaw identified a need to invest in a robust Learning Management System. The school purchased and implemented Canvas as that solution. Canvas provides our teachers, students and parents an improved online environment for accessing course/classroom materials, turning in assignments, communication, electronic assessments and grading. In addition to the aforementioned improvements, Canvas is a common learning management system used by colleges all across this nation. As a result, students that graduate from BCS and go on to college will likely already be familiar with the LMS their higher education institution uses.
Two related improvements are internet bandwidth increases and a student WiFi service upgrade. Bradshaw Christian School requires students to utilize mobile devices on campus to limit paper passing in an attempt to limit a possible source of COVID spread. This created a need for a student WiFi network and an increase in internet bandwidth to accommodate the added users. BCS installed fiber optic service which greatly increased the overall internet capacity of our network. At the same time, a student WiFi network was installed and configured to provide internet access for students to use while on campus. Content filtering and security policies are in place to protect our students from undesirable and inappropriate content.
Each K-12 student has access to the educational suite of Microsoft Office 365 tools as part of their enrollment at BCS. Because distance learning became a reality for so many students, Bradshaw Christian School wants to ensure their students have the software tools they need to succeed. Accordingly, each student is issued a Bradshaw Christian email address and access to Microsoft Word Online as a word processor tool, Microsoft Excel Online as a spreadsheet tool, Microsoft PowerPoint Online as a presenting tool, Microsoft Teams as a collaboration tool and many other applications available through their Microsoft Office 365 portal.
Bradshaw Christian High School installed two live streaming cameras for sporting and extracurricular events. In anticipation of limited sporting event attendance capacities due to COVID restrictions, live streaming cameras were installed in the high school football/soccer stadium and in the main high school gymnasium. With the ability to stream BCS home sporting events, family and friends can watch our teams compete live for a small NFHS Network monthly subscription fee. In addition to sporting events, non-sporting events can be live streamed (i.e. graduation ceremonies, assemblies, main gym chapels, etc.). Non-sporting events do not require a subscription to be view live.
The I.T. investments made this year were focused on providing the tools students and teachers need while ensuring we are well positioned to serve our community in the coming years. We are grateful for the opportunities we have been given and have exercised resourcefulness and creativity in finding sustainable solutions that serve Bradshaw Christian School’s mission “to glorify God through the training and nurturing of students in their spiritual, academic, physical, emotional, and social development.”